Lac Lac Biche County Council was presented with funding recommendations for the grant applications received under the October 31, 2021 intake for the Community Development Grant at the most recent council meeting.
On March 1, Carl Kurppa, Grants and Community Funding Coordinator presented elected officials with the information. The County received four applications totaling $192,931. The budget available for this program is $175,000. Administration’s recommendations were made to elected officials to meet the current available budget.
The following four applicants applied for the following amounts:
- Community Learning for Adults Students Society – Lac La Biche and District: $45,000
- Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre: $52,433
- Lakeland Out of the Elements Shelter Society: $55,407
- Hope Haven Society: $22,160
A four-person committee assessed the applications.
The applications were considered against four basic criteria:
- Need for the activities proposed in the grant application: how critical is the need which is being addressed?
- Expected Outcomes: How effective will the activities be at addressing the above-cited need?
- The need for the Funding: Has the organization explored other funding options, or is the organization capable of funding the activities on their own?
“We had our budget of $175,000. And then we assume hypothetically, how much would each organization get if all the applications were evaluated the same? So the result would have been as follows, $22,260 For Hope Haven and then $50,000 for each of the other organizations,” Kurppa said.
From there, administration made adjustments to each of these numbers based on the relative strength of the applications.
“Each committee member reviewed the applications and then following that we met and discussed them and deliberated,” Kurppa said. “We came to a consensus on what the amount to be. That being said each committee member might see things a little differently. So although the end result was the same, there still could be varying perspectives on each application.”
Kurppa presented a summary of the analysis to council.
“Hope Haven we felt had a lower financial need than the other two organizations. But then again, they were asking for less money. So the $22,000 we thought that that was okay,” Kurppa said. “So then the decision to allocate the remaining $152,000 came down to the relative strength of the three organizations, the Community Learning, Native Friendship Centre and the shelter, like I said, they all have similar financial needs.”
Kurppa felt the issue of homelessness was a current priority of Council, given council is working with several organizations to tackle it, and that the provision of the emergency shelter is a critical service for the community.
“You considered homelessness the most pressing pressing issue followed by food security and then continuing education,” Kurppa told Council. “We felt the Out of the Elements and Friendship Centre are specialized in the services they deliver at addressing homelessness and food security.”
Community Learning does offer some activities that address food security via the stone soup kitchen, as it is a social service and provides emergency provisions, Kurppa added.
“We felt that funding should be focused on organizations that are best suited suited to deliver the activities that are sort of within their mandate more strongly,” Kurppa said. “The Stone Soup Kitchen it does have a food security component. It also has a waste reduction components well, and we felt that that was not as aligned with the social service mandate, although there are components of it and it’s not fair to say it’s entirely not within the mandate. So we did feel all the applications have merit and I think that’s reflected in the recommendations. There’s no huge disparities. I guess the one disparity you could see is Hope Haven is getting less but that’s the amount they asked for, we didn’t reduce them to that amount.”
There was $175,000 in the approved 2022 County budgeted allocated for these requests.
In 2021, Administration budgeted $150,000 for the Community Development Grant. Council chose to increase the budget to $200,000. Discussion regarding this decision to increase the 2021 budget (April 6, 2021 Council Meeting) suggested that the decision was to temporarily provide more funding in order to account difficulties caused by COVID-19.
Administration chose to budget $175,000 rather than an increase the amount.
Ward 6 Councillor Sterling Johnson said during the meeting, “Yeah, for myself, I think right now we’re not quite out in the pandemic, even though it may feel like it today not wearing masks. The Community and Social Services I think offered through all of these programs are still vitally important. So I would like to make the motion that we approve the entire amount requested.”
Ward 7 Councillor and Deputy Mayor Lorin Tkachuk put forth the motion for Council to approve the funding requests.
Council voted and approved the budget of $175,000.